Dir; Jon Watts. Starring; Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jake Gyllenhaal. PG-13. Color. 129 min.
After the massive “Avengers: Endgame” the latest MCU installment is eerily similar to the last season of Lebron James’s basketball career when he joined the Lakers and missed the playoffs for the first time in fifteen years. “Spider-Man: Far From Home” is one of those ‘I need a break but I’m still going to stay relevant’ films. I have no doubt phase four of the MCU is going to go hard in the paint in the future just like Lebron is the next few years. As an individual film, “Far From Home” is paint by numbers, or should I say paint by paychecks.
Spoilers ahead as I have to say that (Spider-Man dies!!!!). JK.
Tom Holland returns as our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man except he is leaving the neighborhood for a trip over seas. The film feels like a classic where to vacation next behind the scenes adventure. Fortunately they do not make it offensively blatant such as an Adam Sandler movie. We open with the standard Marvel logo but in a great piece of irony the Whitney Houston song “I Will Always Love You” plays over the opening credits. An ode to the death of Tony Stark that is funny but also a plot point that has to be mentioned every 15 minutes. We get it, he’s dead. Passing the torch should not be this time consuming.
Peter Parker hits the canals of Venice with his best friend and comic relief Ned (Jacob Batalon) and his secret crush Mary Jane (Zendaya). While Holland is a solid spidey, to my surprise Zendaya stole the show amongst the younger group of actors as MJ. Every scene she was in bounced off the screen. Her level of confidence on camera made even the poorest written lines work.
On his way towards the hope of wooing Mary Jane, Peter’s vacation is interrupted by Nick Fury (old faithful Samuel L. Jackson) popping in for a visit. The events from the last two ‘Avengers’ outings have created a multiverse in time, allegedly. Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal) has traveled to our current universe, allegedly, to fight off various elemental demons that threaten the space/time continuum. Obviously Beck is the villainous Mysterio. Somehow both the super spy Nick Fury and science genius Peter Parker cannot figure that out and this is when this adventure goes off the rails.
I appreciate the MCU not being too serious, but sometimes it is a little hard to believe. Parker hanging out in a random bar with Mysterio wearing his ridiculous neon lighted costume? Were the other patrons too drunk and thought he was some guy who just left a Daft Punk concert? Plus the twist is, sorry to spoil, Mysterio’s plot to take over the world by using drones to create these fake monsters that he controls from a head set. If you are smart enough to create thousands of drones that can simulate huge disasters, why the hell can you be defeated by somebody kicking off your bluetooth biker helmet?
Of course that is nit-picky for a comic book film. Unfortunately “Far From Home” screams nit-picky every other scene. The fight sequences are nonsensical editing 101 and don’t get me started on the moment Nick Fury shows up out of nowhere at a particular train station.
I return to the original Lebron James comparison. Kevin Feige and the rest of the MCU crew saw great success over the past few years. It was time for a vacation, which is exactly what “Far From Home” is. At least they were honest enough to tell us that in the trailers. The kid’s will love it, but nobody will care as soon as the next “Black Panther” drops.
Suck Factor: 4out of 7 (7 means your movie really SUCKS!)
Written by Byrd
The SUCK FACTOR, how it works. We have flipped the rating system upside down. If a film is classic, it gets a 0. Meaning that movie has 0 SUCKS. If a film is complete trash you must avoid at all costs, it gets a 7, meaning this movie really SUCKS!